Posted in Ketogenic Life

Digestive Enzymes: Pros and Cons

I’d like to start this discussion of digestive enzymes by providing data on the prevalence of digestive challenges in the United States from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. There are 60 to 70 million people affected annually by digestive diseases. In 2009, 245,921 deaths occurred in the United States in which one of many digestive diseases was the primary cause of death. The diseases include diagnoses like chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, GI infections, pancreatitis, abdominal wall hernias, diverticular disease, IBS, liver disease and viral hepatitis.

I hope this moves you to care for your digestive system more avidly.

This information should help you make more informed decisions about how to care for yourself. I’ve battled with digestive challenges my entire life, and I am finally learning applicable lessons that can transform the way my body processes, absorbs and utilizes the food and drinks I consume. A large debate exists between traditional medicine and functional medicine in regards to the implementation of digestive enzymes.

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In this video, Dr. Amy Meyers discusses when the supplementation of hydrochloric acid, the primary stomach acid, is appropriate. She does a marvelous job explaining where in the digestive process digestive enzymes should step in, and how functional medicine can be used when your digestive enzymes aren’t equipped to do the job on their own.

Many traditional medicine practitioners will prescribe medications to calm or alleviate the symptoms associated with the digestive challenge. Or they will tell you to cut everything out of your diet. Remove all of the food your body is having a hard time processing, and you’ll have no problems. That’s the thought at least. However, just like when a child has to get sick a couple of times to build immunity against all the sickness at school, your digestive system has to LEARN how to digest the foods you consume. That does not mean eat fried chicken every day to force your system into agreeing with it. That means you can not remove EVERYTHING from your diet to make the process less dynamic. Your digestive system was designed to consume unprocessed, nutritious food that’s made with integrity.

In discussing the hidden dangers of digestive enzymes, Dr. John Douillard summarizes what happens when digestive enzymes are utilized more frequently than necessary.

DIGESTIVE ENZYME SUMMARY

  1. Congested intestinal villi: stools that are too dry or too loose.
  2. Toxins drain from the gut to the liver.
  3. The bile in the liver becomes congested.
  4. The bile becomes too thick to flow through the bile ducts.
  5. Thick bile coats the pancreatic enzyme ducts.
  6. Small intestines signal for more bile and enzymes.
  7. Bile and enzyme ducts end up over-crowded and in digestive gridlock.
  8. Digestive fire weakens and food intolerances can appear
  9. Long-term enzyme dependency ignores the potentially serious underlying cause.

Dr. Douillard shares great insight on how you can avoid digestive disasters by consuming apples, beets, celery, artichokes, leafy greens and turmeric. It is beneficial for your digestive system to be cleansed on a regular basis. When you are constantly in a cleansing state, however, you can cleanse yourself into having a digestive system that only works if they keep cleansing it. Douillard calls these people cleansing casualties. It is recommended to pick one or two days a week to provide the cleanse your body needs to strengthen the system once again.

Take the necessary steps to further educate yourself on healthy digestion and how doing so can help brain function, hormone stability and longevity.

Cheers,

Coral A.J. Gibson

 

Posted in Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

PTSD vs. TBI Using SPECT Scans

Because CT and MRI scans are unable to detect with sensitivity and specificity what a SPECT scan can when diagnosing mild TBI and PTSD, a group of researchers (Daniel G. Amen ,Cyrus A. Raji , Kristen Willeumier , Derek Taylor , Robert Tarzwell , Andrew Newberg , and Theodore A. Henderson) chose to use SPECT scans to see if they could find a true difference between the brain of those with TBI and PTSD. SPECT scans provide the clinical utility of the “delineation of the neural circuitry underlying PTSD ” and the improved detection of TBI. The SPECT scans in this study contain populations of those with PTSD, TBI, co-morbidities as well as those unaffected by either. The following is a collection of the statistics of those with PTSD and TBI in both military and civilian populations in the United States.

Military:

  • DoD reported 307,283 diagnosed cases of TBI from 2000–2014.
  • Congressional Research Service reporting 103,792 diagnosed cases of PTSD from 2000–2012.
  • Over 400,000 military personnel and veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD or TBI since 2001 [17, 18], and many have been diagnosed with both. The overlap of these two populations has been estimated at 33% [34, 35] to 42% [39]. among veterans. Those who have experienced a blast-related TBI have more than double the risk of developing PTSD.

Civilian:

  • About 7.7 million in the US population suffer from PTSD.
  • TBI is also quite prevalent, with 2.5 million annual visits to emergency rooms for suspected TBI.
  • 49% of those with TBI are likely to be diagnosed with a psychiatric illness the following year.

Although the majority of TBI symptoms can resolve over time, a significant proportion of cases develop a persistent post-concussive syndrome (PCS). Long-term consequences of seemingly trivial head injuries may be significant. TBI scans found these areas of the brain to be of particular interest (orbitofrontal cortex, temporal poles, and anterior cingulum) while PTSD scans found these more interesting (amygdala [9], corpus callosum [10], insula [11], anterior cingulum [1214] and hippocampus [15, 16]). A recent meta-analysis showed that PTSD patients had significant activation in midline areas implicated in self-referential processing and autobiographical memory.

The treatments for PTSD and TBI/PCS are different. Therefore, by reliably separating them and accurately identifying cases in which both are present, the use of the SPECT scan emerges as a genuine diagnostic need. All PTSD-identifying regions were hyperactive on SPECT when compared across all groups, and the TBI-identifying regions were correspondingly hypoactive.

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Perfusion is defined by Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary as “the pumping of a fluid through an organ or tissue”; in this instance, through the brain. When you look at the scans above, you can truly see the differences in perfusion across the four groups receiving SPECT scans. A healthy control shows normal higher perfusion to the cerebellum. The PTSD subject shows increased perfusion in the brain—particularly in the frontal lobes. The TBI subject shows decreased perfusion throughout by comparison. The subject with both PTSD and TBI shows perfusion that is lower than the person with PTSD but higher than the subject with TBI. These results suggest that TBI is associated with hypoperfusion while PTSD is associated with regional hyperperfusion, which both provide  important insights in regards to the pathophysiological differences between the disorders.

Many research studies have found the positive benefits that pure therapeutic ketones have on the perfusion across the brain, along with the neural communication across its lobes. If you or anyone you know are interested in getting a SPECT scan of your brain, visit one of the Amen Clinics across the nation! My goal is to get this information into the hands of those affected by TBI and PTSD, and hopefully this will aid in doing so!

With warm regards,

Coral A.J. Gibson

 

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis

Frequently, I encounter medical professionals who have a negative connotation associated with the words “ketosis” and “ketones”. Why is that?

In school, medical students are taught that ketones are present in the body when a diabetic patient is succumbing to kidney failure because of the excess presence of ketones in the bloodstream. With that knowledge, it seemed unfathomable how ketones could possibly be beneficial or even therapeutic. However, there’s something missing here. The aforementioned situation is a state called ketoacidosis.

In this state of ketoacidosis, blood ketone levels are above 10mmol AND blood glucose levels are high. The body becomes unable to utilize glucose for fuel; that glucose stays in the body and fat is broken down to create ketones for fuel. Then, “without insulin to control the amount of ketones produced during this process, an excessive amount is produced.” This is a vicious cycle. On the flip side, in a state of ketosis, optimal blood ketone levels are between 0.5 and 3 mmol AND blood glucose levels are stabilized.

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Can you see the difference there?

In a state of ketoacidosis, the body struggles to use both glucose and ketones as a fuel source, and is soon affected by this toxic state. Insulin and glucagon are unstable.

In a state of ketosis, the body is utilizing ketones as the primary fuel source with assistance from glucose as need be. The use of dual fuel is the ideal metabolism for the majority of the population. Reference my other articles to see why this concept of dual fuel is so important in your health and longevity.

To a better fuel source,

Coral A.J. Gibson

 

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Is Ketosis Safe During Pregnancy?

Absolutely.

I should preface this article by saying: this is not medical advice and any information provided should be discussed with your doctor prior to making a change in your diet or supplementation.

Now, this is a hot topic amongst new moms in the community who are learning about the benefits of ketosis. They are wondering, “but is it safe for me and my baby?”

The mother will experience all the beauties of ketosis for herself. And the baby, will in turn receive these ketones through the placenta. An interesting fact is that the mother will actually become more insulin resistant towards the end of gestation to force a push of nutrients to the fetus through the placenta. This is when the ketogenic diet and exogenous ketones are needed more than ever. Primarily, it will help the mother curb cravings that would spike insulin; and secondarily, it will ensure the fetus gets everything it needs to physiologically grow at the capacity it needs to before birth.

Similarly , Maria Emmerich shares the science behind breastfeeding and why it’s even more beneficial for the baby when mom is in ketosis. Children are born into a state of ketosis. Breast milk is naturally high in fat, which will reinforce the infant being in ketosis and becoming keto-adapted. This will help the child’s brain develop more efficiently. Coconut oil increases lauric acid in the breast milk, which is a rare medium chain fatty acid that promotes a healthy metabolism.

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You know what’s even better? The mother in ketosis will have more natural energy, will want to be more physically active and will have a strong brain to handle the challenges proposed when being pregnant and carrying a child.

Ketotic.org states “When the brain is in its period of highest growth, and when the source of food is likely to be close to what it evolved to be for that period, ketones are used to fuel that growth.” That means that, even as the infant grows, it needs to be provided with a ketogenic diet and ketones to help accelerate its development physiologically. For some reason, parents get soft and allow their children to become obsessed with sugar. Most parents don’t just let their kiddos have sugar every once in awhile; they allow the child to bargain by using treats and desserts.

Unfortunately, the child usually wins that sugar battle.

All the care taken by the mother to create an incredible child during gestation needs to continue as we teach the children of our future how to care for their brain and body.

To a happy and healthy mom and baby,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Exogenous vs. Endogenous Ketones

The empirical research and powerful testimonials concerning ketosis are of abundance.

You might have had this question run across your mind, like many people looking for health optimization: what is the difference between taking exogenous ketones and following a ketogenic diet?

Either way, the body will benefit. Let’s talk about this difference.

Simply put, “exogenous” refers to something that is sourced from outside of the body. All supplements are therefore considered exogenous because they are ingested rather than created by the body. “Endogenous” refers to something created within the body.

Is that simplified enough? I hope so.

Now the question becomes what are the implications of that exogenous vs. endogenous? Are there any specific differences between taking exogenous ketones and producing endogenous ketones? This video from Michael Rutherford clearly explains the difference; don’t let it be too complicated.

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Alchemy Athletics provides this incredible insight to the community. Endogenous “ketosis can be unsustainable in the long-term considering that just a small amount of carbohydrates or excess protein can kick you out of ketosis.” This is very true. And this is why exogenous ketone use can be so handy in long-term health and wellness. Learn more about the benefits of exogenous ketone supplementation in Alchemy Athletics’ Ketones 101 and read through the resources listed at the bottom of the article!

Onward and Upward,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Intermittent Fasting

Let’s talk about how intermittent fasting will revolutionize your brain and metabolism.

The benefits are numerous, yet the most important is a simpler and longer life. I imagine you’ve seen people meal prepping, packing 6 meals a day to eat every two hours on the hour like clockwork. Doing so makes your body dependent on the incoming food. Your brain counts down the minutes, your insulin spikes and crashes and your hormones make you hangry if you are a few minutes late. Intermittent fasting is the opposite!

Intermittent fasting (IF) means that you will consume fewer meals and practice  more periods of fasting. There are multiple schedules you can follow. The easiest to follow, and the one I recommend beginners do to start, is to wake up, drink their ketones and wait to have their first meal until they are truly hungry. This will help the body relearn the signals for hunger rather than just following culture and time patterns. For many, that time comes around 12-1pm. They then use an 8 hour feeding window, so their last meal of the day should be consumed before 8-9pm.

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As I discussed last week, your body might reach a plateau when following any routine for an extended period of time. When your body is ready for a new routine, you can implement one of the other intermittent fasting schedule options outlined by Intermittent Fasting 101 from Keto Kookie. As your body gets more accustomed to this new way of eating, you might implement a full 24- or 48-hour fast. Doing so regularly will dramatically help with cell regeneration, ridding your body of toxins, allowing it to recover from the abundance of tasks it has daily. Intermittent Fasting can also help in chronic disease prevention as The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discusses here.

*Note: While Intermittent Fasting is widely regarded as the optimal way to eat, you should always talk to a doctor before making dietary decisions.

Challenge yourself to start Intermittent Fasting beginning with dinner this Sunday night.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

To health and happiness,

Coral Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Break Through KETO Weight-Loss Plateaus

I’ve had a few people this month ask me how they can break through the weight loss plateau they are experiencing after months of being on a ketogenic diet and taking exogenous ketones. First, props to them for keeping up with the ketogenic lifestyle for months! Many people can’t find the desire or discipline to stick with it for more than a couple weeks; so way to go! Second, it is PERFECTLY normal to experience a plateau in your weight loss goal; the trick is to not let it defeat you. If you’ve been at this plateau for more than three weeks, today’s message will help you learn how to break through it!

In this interview on Cut the Killer Carbs, Dr. Justin Anderson discusses a few of the challenges his clients are experiencing during their metabolic coaching programs. He says about 10% of metabolic coaching clients experience these plateaus.  The Whoosh Effect is the collection of instances when your body can go a certain period of time with no movement in the weight, then all of a sudden drop a couple pounds and go right back to no movement. Here a few tricks to break your plateau:

  1. Count your carbs, religiously, for three days. After awhile, you become lax on your carb consumption. Put yourself back in check.
  2. Take a look at current medications, as some are associated with weight gain.
  3. Check your axial temperature in the morning to see if you have inadequate thyroid function.
  4. Take omega 3 fatty acids!
  5. Consider a light exercise regimen.
  6. Try two weeks of dairy to see if your body is sensitive to it.
  7. If you’re on current thyroid meds, switch from generic to name brand for more bioavailability.
  8. Watch out for farm-raised fish; get wild caught only.
  9. Remove diet sodas and artificial sweeteners.
  10. Don’t let your “cheats” go too far.
  11. Utilize intermittent fasting.

Here is another great resource for even more tips on how to break through your plateau, including eating too much or too little!

My personal recommendation for my clients is to change your daily routine. If you’ve been following the same regimen for more than six months, give your body something new to work with. Do high intensity movement for 5 minutes before you start your day. Use intermittent fasting at a different 8 hour time slot in the day. Up your exogenous ketone consumption a little! If you’ve been using 1/2 packet twice a day for months, try using 1/2 packet three times a day for a bit. If you haven’t implement the use of exogenous ketones in your weight loss journey, start now and see if that brings your cellular regeneration to a new level!

I hope this will help you get where you’re looking to go. As always, if these tips aren’t helping you break through, consult a medical professional to address your body’s needs.

Best of Luck,

Coral Jinright-Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

Increase Your Lifespan With Ketosis

What would you do if I told you I had the key to adding more happy years to your life?

Would you jump for joy knowing you’ll have more time to travel the world? Would you wake up every morning knowing you’ve got more time to spend with your children? Would you stop stressing the small stuff? Would guilt and remorse leave your heart?

It is my goal to help you grasp the fact that you are currently in the only body you will ever receive. You’ve got an incredibly smart body that deserves your respect. The energy you put into your body is exactly what you will get out of it. From a psychological point of view, that means living with gratitude, compassion, love and an open mind. From a physical point of view, that means doing uplifting activities like walking, yoga, hiking, kayaking and even sleep! With that said, let’s dive into how ketone bodies present life span extending properties by reducing oxidative stress and being an effective tool for combating free radical damage.

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Above, you see the  molecular structure of three ketone bodies. These three ketones are the subject of a critical review from IUBMB Life titled Ketone Bodies Mimic The Lifespan Extending Properties of Calorie Restriction. It’s fascinating really. This critical review discusses the genetic mechanisms of life expansion, the antioxidant system, the indications of your telomere length, and other anti-aging mechanisms, ALL of which can be optimized with the presence of ketone bodies.

The ketogenic diet is a wonderful way to nutritionally get into ketosis. Furthermore, in the above review, their results showed that consuming exogenous (sourced outside the body) ketone esters showed a two-fold decrease of glucose and a three-fold decrease of insulin in rats. What profound results!

“Aging in man is accompanied by the deterioration of a number of systems.”

We know that.

What you might not know is that “the unique ability of ketone bodies to supply energy to the brain during periods of impairment of glucose metabolism” is what make ketosis a highly effective treatment against neurological diseases that are currently untreatable with traditional medicine.

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The take away: get ketones in your body and ENJOY LIVING LONGER!!

Get exogenous ketones in your body TODAY with this Ketone Operating System.

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Gut Health and Ketosis

It’s no question if gut health should be at the top of your list of health goals. Yet, surprisingly, many people will focus much more on cosmetic and aesthetic “health” and completely bypass what’s going on inside their bodies. The microbiome in the gut is highly influenced by the types of food we put into it. Primarily, sugar and “empty” carbs are the ones in question here. You can imagine that, if sugar is bad for the brain, it’s not so good for the intestines either! We will now explore this with a view interviews!

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In this interview, Eric Westman MD talks about how the ketogenic diet affects the health of our digestion and the trillions of microbes inside our guts. Contrary ideas are also brought to the table in an attempt to truly understand what takes place when sugar and empty carbs are removed from our diet.

 

In this interview, David Perlmutter MD, a board certified neurologist, discusses how the removal of grains and the inclusion of a ketogenic diet could aid in protecting our brains for life. The power of gut microbes is incredible, but fat got the blame for its decline in recent decades, contrary to practices by humans over thousands of years.

Both of these interviews are full of knowledge, as well as links to other books and research articles to expand what you know about the connection between the brain and the gut microbiome and just how helpful ketosis is in maintaining the health of both.

Health and happiness,

Coral Jinright

 

Posted in Ketogenic Life

The Importance of Green

Well… money is important. But what I’m talking about here is nutritious GREENS!

When individuals start following the ketogenic lifestyle, they will include an abundance of fat with a moderate amount of protein. This is a solid foundation. For optimal gut health and utilization of these fats and proteins, it is imperative to include greens in your diet. Non-starchy leafy greens and vegetables are necessary to ensure your gut biome is in homeostasis and maintain blood sugar. The Ketogenic Diet Resource site maintained by Ellen Davis MS is an absolutely incredible aid in your transition to the ketogenic lifestyle. This site debunks myths, presents the applications of the ketogenic diet and shares recipes, food plans and medicinal applications of the lifestyle. There are also books by Ellen Davis listed that can be purchased to broaden your horizon in the field: Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet, Conquer Type 2 Diabetes, and many more.

This article written by Ellen Davis in the Well Being Journal in the July/August 2012 issue discusses why the ketogenic lifestyle is key to excellent health. “Small amounts of ROS are created as part of normal cellular respiration, and our cells have been equipped with various antioxidant molecules to disarm them.” We all know it doesn’t stop here. Oxidative stress from daily life contributes to the formation of free radicals in the human body, which are the cause of what we call inflammation. The inclusion of greens into your diet will also help balance your body’s electrolytes: sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). Electrolytes are found in the body’s fluids including urine and blood and provide an electric charge that controls all involuntary bodily functions as well as muscle contraction and relaxation. In conjunction with greens, exogenous ketones will help electrolytes balance with little intervention on your end. Learn more about electrolyte balance and its significance in your body.

I hope this has been helpful to you, and that you’ve got a handful of asparagus and spinach ready for dinner tonight!

Cheers!

Coral Jinright